Acts 16:6 – Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
It has been stated through the ages; the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It’s a simple, yet very accurate statement. There are times and places in life where the shortest distance between two points isn’t even close to the best distance between two points. Let me first address that anecdotally. Do you know your shortest, quickest, most efficient way to work? Have you ever been on your way to work, or any place you regularly go, and for some unknown reason, chose to go a different route? Have you ever done that and discovered later that had you gone the normal route, you may have been involved in some sort of accident that could have gravely injured or even killed you? Have you ever been delayed in going somewhere, only to arrive at a given intersection a minute or two later than normal, only to find there had been a major accident at the time you would ordinarily have been there? And how many stories were told of people, who for whatever the reason, were delayed or detoured in traveling to the World Trade Center on 9/11?
Our Text for Today is an example of the truth that the shortest, or most direct line of travel is not always the best line of travel. Paul and Silas desired to go to Asia. Now why would the Lord delay someone from fulfilling the Great Commission, to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”? The answer should be obvious. Father knows the end from the beginning. That is, from the very beginning of an endeavor, Father knows what the outcome will be. And He doesn’t just know one outcome. He knows every conceivable outcome. And if it will make the harvest greater, if it will keep more souls out of hell, if it will bring greater glory to the Lord, He can, and I believe will, send us through a somewhat circuitous route, giving time for seed that is planted to be ready for a harvest when we arrive. Could it be that many great moves of God have been thwarted because we moved too quickly to harvest a field, that while seed was already planted, it had not had time to produce fruit ready for harvest? The point to be taken here is not to disobey the Lord in any way, nor to attempt to slow Him down in His work. Rather it is that we need to be assured that we are not ahead of Him, but are instead walking in step with Him from here to there. When we walk in such a manner, there will always be time for fruit to be ready for harvest, so that we can walk into the good works that He has ordained for us.
Manna for Today – Acts 16:6-40; John 4:1-45; Ephesians 2:10